Early Settlement of Sicily

Widespread settlement of Sicily began after about 1500 BC with immigration of Sicani from North Africa. Their first settlements were in the southeast part of the island, east of the Gela River. The Sicani were soon followed by Siculi, who came across the Strait of Messina from the Italian mainland. Despite the difference in the immediate geographical origins of the two tribal groups, both are deemed to fall within the broad Libyco-Iberian category. From them the modern name of Sicily is derived.

Settlement AreasThe arrival of the Siculis, and their settlement along the island's eastern and southeastern coast, pushed the Sicani settlements further inland and toward the north and northwest of the island.

In the same general period a third tribal group, the Elymni, began settlement at the western end of Sicily, with towns at Erice and Segesta.


1999 C. I. Gable